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Operation SOPA/PIPA Blackout

zappy-censoredOn January 18th, the entire XBMC.org website will go black in protest of SOPA/PIPA.

XBMC prefers to avoid political activism. It is our opinion that we are builders of software. Awesome software, to be precise. And we, as a group, do not care one bit how our users choose to use that software, nor do we have any interest in standing in our users way.

However, under provisions granted by SOPA/PIPA, if a copyright holder believes that any piece of our website violates their copyright, whether it be a picture in our forum, an item on our blog, or a single addon in one of our mirrors, they could use unprecedented measures to deny access to xbmc’s website and services  without due process. (see EFF Report for a better and more thorough explanation)

In essence, we’d have to make a choice. Do we want to keep building awesome software and in so doing waste 75% of our coding time acting as the police officers of our users trying to find and delete every single piece of content that might potentially have copyright issues, or do we want to give up this project entirely?

We, the developers of XBMC, believe this “choice” is not a choice at all, and as such, we oppose this Bill.

We recognize that many disagree with our stance on this subject, and invite all to examine the text of the SOPA Bill, the coverage of the SOPA bill performed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and whatever sources you trust on this topic, before coming to your own conclusions.

It is for all these reasons and more that, on January 18th, we will be joining reddit, Raspberry Pi, XDA Developers, The Linux Forum, and numerous others by blacking out our website for the day. We invite you to educate yourself and then, if you live in America, contact your local congressman and senator to further this discussion.